Second phase of dog population management project completes successfully

Dasho Secretary and the CEO inaugurating the Exhibition
Dasho Secretary and the CEO inaugurating the Exhibition

July 9-10, Thimphu:  The second phase of the national dog population management and rabies control project (NDPM&RCP) which was started in July 2012 for three years successfully completed in June 2015.

The project with a 90% Bhutanese and only 10% vets from the Humane Society International (HSI) sterilised and vaccinated 24006 dogs and 1806 cats in the country through a catch neuter-vaccinate release (CNVR) protocol. This was presented as one of the significant project achievements in a technical workshop held at the Terma Linca Resort.

To control the dog population, the project initiated the community program at the twenty veterinary hospitals involving trained vets. Thirty three Bhutanese vets were trained in CVNR protocol to help them to take up such activity in future.

The mass sterilisation and vaccination campaign held in Thimphu Thromde covering 2500 free roaming dogs, a memorandum of understanding signed between Thimphu Thromde and Livestock Department where in Thromde will lead the dog population management activities in Thromde for three years, mass vaccination campaign carried out in rabies endemic Dzongkhags  covering 11963 dogs and the launching of the community animal birth control program in April 2014 were the other project milestones highlighted.

The Hon'ble Lyonpo awarding the certificate to the Project Director
The Hon’ble Lyonpo awarding the certificate to the Project Director

According to Dr. Kinzang Dukpa, the Project Director from the National Centre for Animal Health, all these achievements will help to reduce the numbers of free roaming dogs in public places, littering and bites among other threats in the long run making Bhutan a rabies free country.

Under the chairmanship of the Hon’ble Agriculture Secretary, Dasho Tenzin Dhendup, the workshop highlighted that after the project in place, the dog population has not grown, lactating females has been reduced and very few puppies being seen around as compared in the past.

Dasho and Mr. Andrew Rowan, the CEO for HSI also inaugurated the photo exhibition on the day that highlighted the various project activities in details.

The project closing ceremony on Friday was graced by the Hon’ble Agriculture Lyonpo, Yeshey Dorji who awarded the certificates to all staff for achieving the project objectives.

The first phase of the project was introduced in 2009 jointly by the Livestock Department and HSI realising the need to manage the increasing dog population in a humane, scientific and sustainable manner as the earlier strategies like shooting, translocation and others failed.

Considering the success of the joint initiative, the project has been conferred the ‘Outstanding Animal Protection Educator Award’ and ‘Outstanding Animal Protection Award’ for their commitment in humane animal control in Bhutan.

-ICS

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